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Moving to Eindhoven

Originally built around the Dommel, Gender and Tongelreep rivers, Eindhoven lies in the south of the Netherlands, in the province of North Brabant. As a driving force for innovation and art, expats constantly move to Eindhoven for its excellent quality of life and cultural offerings.

Living in Eindhoven as an expat

Nicknamed 'Lichtstad' (the City of Light), Eindhoven has been home to electronics giant, Philips, since 1891. This modern city has become known as a centre for technology and design, showcased in its many museums, art galleries and events. For example, the annual GLOW Festival is a top-rated event where artistic light installations illuminate various buildings and structures.

Eindhoven is a popular destination for expats working in the high-tech sector, as well as those in the art and design industries. The district of Strijp-S exemplifies this atmosphere, where technology meets art and old meets new. As a former industrial district, Strijp-S has transformed into a trendy neighbourhood, attracting a hipster culture.

Of course, expats from all walks of life relocate to the Netherlands' fifth-largest city. Eindhoven is also a university city that hosts many international students looking to study at one of the city's prestigious institutions, including the Eindhoven University of Technology or the Fontys University of Applied Sciences.

Eindhoven's excellent infrastructure, efficient transport system and high-quality healthcare all contribute to the city's fantastic quality of life. Despite being an industrial city, expats may be surprised to learn that there are plenty of lush green spaces and recreational areas to enjoy. Thanks to the many students who call Eindhoven home, the city also has a lively social scene.

Cost of living in Eindhoven

Living in Eindhoven does come at a hefty price, as the cost of living is high but lower than Amsterdam's. Expats looking for accommodation in the city centre will need to budget accordingly or find a flatshare option to split the rental costs. The alternative option is to live in a surrounding area or suburb and commute into the centre. Fortunately, Eindhoven has a robust cycling culture, so expats can save on transport costs.

Expat families and children in Eindhoven

With a focus on education, expat parents moving to Eindhoven with children will find that the learning facilities in public schools are of a high standard. That said, schooling options for children who cannot speak Dutch are limited, as there is only one English-speaking international school in Eindhoven.

Owing to the abundance of parks and museums in Eindhoven, expat parents will also have plenty to keep their little ones entertained.

Climate in Eindhoven

The climate in Eindhoven is oceanic. The weather in the summer is mild and comfortable, while the winters are frosty. Expats moving to Eindhoven will need to keep an umbrella on hand, as the city is generally wet.

New arrivals may need to overcome the initial hurdles, such as finding a home or the best school for their children. Luckily for most, integration into this Dutch city is smooth thanks to the vibrant and welcoming lifestyle.

Weather in Eindhoven

The fifth-largest city in the Netherlands, Eindhoven has an oceanic climate characterised by mild and partly cloudy summers and cold and windy winters.

The summer months are typically between June and September, with July claiming the hottest month of the year and temperatures peaking at 73°F (23°C). The winter months (November to March) bring most of Eindhoven’s rain and snowfall.

Be that as it may, the city generally experiences rainfall throughout the year, so expats should be sure to pack their raincoats and umbrellas. The coldest month of the year is January, where temperatures reach average lows of 33°F (0.5°C).

 

Working in Eindhoven

With a focus on electronics and technology, Eindhoven has become a popular destination for expats with tech experience. The city has experienced tremendous economic growth, and this is evidenced by the diversification of the job market.

The presence of electronics giant, Philips, has played a major role in developing Eindhoven’s reputation as a technology hub, with other large Dutch companies such as ASML and DAF Trucks also calling the city home.


Job market in Eindhoven

Home to numerous tech and design companies, Eindhoven is a haven for those with experience in the IT and electronics fields. More employment opportunities are available in the manufacturing, human resources, accounting, finance and marketing industries.

The creative design sector also offers plenty of opportunities for expats looking to diversify their experience. Eindhoven has established specialised tech and design training institutions, appealing to specialist educators looking for work and students. This adds an air of creativity and innovation, which is reflected in one of Eindhoven's landmarks, the Evoluon. The Evoluon's futuristic design resembles a flying saucer, and it is also a major conference centre.

Eindhoven is also a popular location for start-up companies. Entrepreneurs wanting to start businesses will find a wealth of opportunities and be spoilt for choice, thanks to the qualified workforce in the city.


Finding a job in Eindhoven

Finding a job in Eindhoven can be tricky, as competition is fierce. Expats from outside the EU will need a work permit to work in the Netherlands. A further obstacle is that companies must prove that no local or EU national can fill the role before hiring a foreign employee.

Although English is widely spoken and understood in the corporate environment, working knowledge of Dutch will help expats land a job in Eindhoven. That said, jobs at international companies often search for foreign-language speakers. Expats who can communicate fluently in languages such as French, German, English and Mandarin, as well as Dutch, may have the upper hand when applying for posts.

Networking is also essential when job hunting in the Netherlands, as the Dutch take personal recommendations seriously and are more likely to hire someone through their connections.

Recruitment agencies also prove a valuable resource when job hunting, while online job portals such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor offer a good starting point.


Work culture in Eindhoven

It helps to know what to expect in the workplace when moving to Eindhoven for work, whether part of an intra-company transfer or hired locally. A key thing to remember is punctuality. The Dutch are known to be disciplined workers who stick to a strict meeting agenda. Aside from this, expats doing business in the Netherlands commonly admit that adjusting to the direct communication style of the Dutch takes a while.

Additionally, organisations in Eindhoven may have distinct hierarchies, and expats will know who they will be responsible for and must report to. Nonetheless, the work culture is collaborative, and group decision-making is valued.

Accommodation in Eindhoven

Expats will find a range of high-quality modern accommodation in Eindhoven. Although housing may be smaller than some expats are used to, it’s generally clean and well maintained.

When searching for accommodation in Eindhoven, expats should consider access to public transport and the proximity to work and schools. Nevertheless, most places, especially within the city centre, are within easy walking distance.


Types of accommodation in Eindhoven

Both social and private housing is available for rental in Eindhoven. Social housing comes at subsidised rates; however, expats must first join a housing queue and meet specific criteria. The waiting lists are typically long, so the quickest and best bet is to rent privately.

Apartments

Apartments are the most common property type in Eindhoven, particularly in the inner city. Young professionals and students usually look for flats in Eindhoven. Newcomers should note that, as with other major Dutch cities, the more centrally located the accommodation, the higher the rental price.

Rooms

Expats on a budget can save by renting a room, often in a shared apartment with other flatmates. This will substantially reduce their cost of living and is a popular way in which new arrivals, particularly students, can secure affordable housing.

Houses

Standalone, semi-detached and terraced houses are also available on the property market. The smaller villages surrounding Eindhoven generally offer more spacious living with detached homes that have gardens and are popular with expat families.

Furnished vs. unfurnished

Both furnished (gemeubileerd) and unfurnished (kaal) properties are on the market. Unfurnished options normally don’t have carpets or light fittings, but they may have some basic appliances, such as a stove. Expats staying in Eindhoven long-term frequently prefer this option as they will have greater freedom in decorating the space.

New arrivals who only plan to stay a few months tend to opt for furnished accommodation, which also comes at a higher price. It's also worth establishing a detailed itinerary of all the furniture when signing a lease agreement.


Finding accommodation in Eindhoven

Expats can search for accommodation using online property portals. Websites such as IamExpat Media, Engel & Völkers and Pararius will be great resources when househunting in Eindhoven. These listings also alert prospective tenants to the rental costs they can expect in the different areas and suburbs of the city.

If expats don't speak Dutch, the language barrier can be a problem, and it's usually best to hire a real estate agent (makelaar). Real estate professionals may also have access to listings that are not officially on the housing market yet, so expats may score a better deal by going this route.

Many prospective expats reach out through social media networks when looking for accommodation in Eindhoven. Posting a question on an expat forum or group may provide direct access to landlords looking for tenants. Social media is especially useful for young house hunters looking to rent a room and share an apartment.


Renting accommodation in Eindhoven

When making a rental application in Eindhoven, prospective tenants must typically provide their citizen service number, known as a BSN (burgerservicenummer). Landlords may also request an expat's employment contract if they are working in Eindhoven, or details about their studies if they are students.

We recommend that expats read and understand the rental terms and conditions, as well as any hidden costs. For example, expats using the services of a real estate agent should consider that the fee is usually the equivalent of one month’s rent.

Leases

Expats renting in Eindhoven will likely sign a fixed-period lease valid for one year, though these may also be valid for six months. Alternatively, expats may also encounter flexible leases, which are open-ended and have no predetermined termination date.

While verbal agreements are legally viable in the Netherlands, we highly recommend signing a legal contract to avoid any potential issues or disagreements later on.

Deposits

Most landlords in Eindhoven expect one to three months' rent as a deposit, along with the first month of rent to be paid upfront.

Utilities

Utilities are generally for the tenant's expense and must be paid in addition to rent.

Areas and suburbs in Eindhoven

The best places to live in Eindhoven

Eindhoven is a compact and walkable city, with most places within a short stroll or a trip away using public transport. Expats will find a range of areas and suburbs in Eindhoven to suit both their lifestyle and budget. From modern inner-city living to quaint, suburban communities on the outskirts, the city has something for people from all walks.

Here are some of the most popular expat areas in Eindhoven.


Central areas in Eindhoven

Photo by Vishall Helm on Unsplash Eindhoven Centraal, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Centrum

Centrum is the heart of Eindhoven, a commercial and largely pedestrianised city centre. It consists of several districts, including Bergen, Binnenstad, Fellenoord and TU-terrein. Bergen is one of Eindhoven's oldest districts and is home to antique stores and charming cafés. TU-terrein is home to the Eindhoven University of Technology, meaning it draws in plenty of students.

The city centre is a great place for young professionals and students, with apartments being the most common form of housing. Many old factories and office blocks have been repurposed into luxury serviced apartments and add a modern, stylish feel to central Eindhoven.

Expats living here will have access to plenty of amenities, including shops and restaurants, as well as top museums and the St. Catherine’s Church. The railway station is also within walking distance. The only catch? Residents will pay a premium for property within the city limits.

Strijp-S

Previously an industrial park owned by electronics giant Philips, Strijp-S has attracted plenty of young people in recent years. This neighbourhood has become a creative hub, home to great living spaces and design companies that continue to drive innovation in the city.

Strijp-S is known for its hipster vibe and former factories, which have transformed into trendy cafés and shops. Housing prices have increased over the years, though, and given its proximity to Eindhoven’s city centre, the accommodation here may not suit everyone’s budget.


Northern districts of Eindhoven

Eindhoven by Vishall Helm on Unsplash

Woensel

Located just north of the city centre, Woensel is a largely residential area with tree-lined streets. Previously a separate town, Woensel is now integrated with the city of Eindhoven. Accommodation is available in a variety of forms, ranging from apartments to terraced houses.

Woensel-Zuid

Woensel-Zuid is home to some of Eindhoven's most affordable accommodation. Groenevoud, a neighbourhood of Woensel-Zuid, is an up-and-coming area with plenty of vintage clothing stores and great restaurants. Expats can save by looking for housing here, just outside the city centre, and cycling or catching the bus to work.


Towns and villages surrounding Eindhoven

Watermill at Opwetten, Nuenen by Wammes Waggel

Smaller villages and towns surrounding Eindhoven are popular with expats, especially families with children. There is a range of options in these family-friendly areas, from tiny apartments to elegant freestanding homes.

Popular villages and towns include Son, Breugel, Best, Nuenen and Veldhoven. These are all green and leafy suburban areas, offering a wonderful place to raise a family, while still being close enough to the city thanks to the excellent public transport links.

Education and Schools in Eindhoven

Eindhoven is a centre of learning and innovation within the Netherlands and is home to several prestigious schools and universities. Expats can rest assured that their children will receive an excellent education in this city.

While there are many good quality public schools in Eindhoven, expats should note that options are limited when it comes to international schools.


Public schools in Eindhoven

All children living in the Netherlands, including expats, are entitled to attend public school at no cost up to 16, after which subsidised fees apply.

Catchment areas determine placements in public schools, so expats wanting to send their child to a public school in Eindhoven should choose their neighbourhood carefully.

Public schools follow the Dutch national curriculum, with Dutch as the main language of instruction. These are a good option for those intending to stay in Eindhoven long term, as young children will learn Dutch quickly and adapt to their new surroundings.


Private and international schools in Eindhoven

Private and international schools are far more limited in Eindhoven compared to cities such as Amsterdam. While there are several private schools, there is only one main English-language international school within Eindhoven: the International School Eindhoven. The school has both primary and secondary school campuses and offers the Dutch and International Baccalaureate curricula. The other international school in Eindhoven, Salto International School, offers bilingual instruction and support for children who are not fluent in Dutch or English. Competition for places can be fierce, so we advise expats moving to Eindhoven to plan accordingly.


Nurseries in Eindhoven

Expat parents with young children will find numerous childcare options in Eindhoven. There are many nurseries and preschools to choose from. But, proximity to accommodation may play a critical role in selecting the right one.

Many companies offer daycare services in Eindhoven, including Partou, the Netherlands' biggest childcare organisation.


Special-needs education in Eindhoven

As with elsewhere in the country, special-education needs are catered for in Eindhoven. Expats will find several speciaal basisonderwijs (SBO) and speciaal onderwijs schools in Eindhoven. While SBO schools share parallels with the mainstream Dutch curricula, the latter is divided into clusters depending on the impairment the student has, be it visual, speech or hearing, physical or cognitive, or social and behavioural.

In most cases, children with special needs are integrated into mainstream classrooms. Both public and private schools offer specialised support services that facilitate inclusive education. We recommend that expats contact the local municipality and the schools directly for assistance with selecting the best fit for their children's needs.


Homeschooling in Eindhoven

Homeschooling is not an accepted practice in the Netherlands. The majority of expat parents are happy with the public education system, despite the initial language barriers. International schools are the solution to the question of language, albeit an expensive one.


Tutors in Eindhoven

Finding a tutor in Eindhoven shouldn't prove much of a challenge. Numerous private tutoring companies operate across the city, while online portals are also a great way to hire a tutor. Some tutoring companies cater specifically to expats, and many offer Dutch language lessons. Specialist tutors who are experts in specific subject areas are also available in Eindhoven, which may help expat children who want to integrate into the public school system. Tuition outside of school can also benefit students who require extra support in general and close to exam time.

Lifestyle in Eindhoven

Eindhoven is a young and vibrant city with a lively, modern atmosphere. Expats who work here can enjoy a healthy work-life balance, with the city's range of things to see and do that appeal to a variety of lifestyles.

With a focus on technology and innovation, many attractions and activities in Eindhoven are in some way related to the tech or design sector, with plenty of museums and artistic buildings. There are plenty of parks and outdoor spaces to explore, as well as an abundance of clubs and bars for expats keen on a night out.


Shopping in Eindhoven

From small, exclusive boutiques and eclectic markets to large department stores and modern shopping malls, Eindhoven is a shopper's delight and has something for every taste and budget. 

The best shopping experience begins at the Markt in the city centre, which is Eindhoven’s main market square. Here, pedestrianised streets allow shoppers to wander around in leisure. There is also a regular Saturday market offering all kinds of goodies from flowers to local cheeses and meats, household items and hand-crafted items.

De Bergen is another exciting shopping district with smaller speciality shops, including bookshops, galleries and antique as well as interior design stores. Those looking for something more exclusive can head to Hooghuisstraat, while Boexstraat offers a wide variety of clothing stores.


Eating out in Eindhoven

Thanks to Eindhoven’s multicultural make-up, there’s a wide range of cuisine across the city. International fare, from Azerbaijani and Ethiopian to American and Chinese, is also available. Still, the weekly markets are the best place to sample Dutch street food. 

Although eating out in the Netherlands can be expensive, expats will find plenty of tasty budget options in Eindhoven. When it comes to fine dining, expats can take their pick from a selection of Michelin-starred restaurants, while chic bistros and pubs offer budget-friendly menus.


Nightlife and entertainment in Eindhoven

With a young student population, Eindhoven offers an exciting nightlife with everything from vibrant bars, live music venues and clubs to quaint pubs and trendy cafés. The Markt offers fantastic nightlife, while Stratumseind, the Netherlands’ longest pub street, is arguably the best place to enjoy a night out. For those looking for a slightly calmer evening out, De Bergen offers cosy cafés and popular bistros.

Expats looking for a more cultural experience can visit one of Eindhoven’s many theatres and art galleries. Van Abbemuseum is a favourite among visitors who enjoy modern and contemporary art, while the DAF Museum exhibits trucks and vintage automobiles. The St Catherine's Church is another top attraction in the city, with its neo-Gothic architecture dating back to the 1860s.


Sports and outdoor activities in Eindhoven

Given that cycling is one of the most popular ways of getting around in Eindhoven, it makes sense that this city also caters to its sporty residents. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the skateparks and bike trails, such as the Hovenring suspended cycle path, as well as rock climbing on walls scattered across the city.

A visit to Eindhoven would not be complete without taking in a game of football (soccer) at the Philips Stadium, where expats can revel in watching the local team, PSV Eindhoven, compete against many of Europe’s top teams.


What's on in Eindhoven

There are plenty of exciting events that showcase Eindhoven's talents and inventive spirit to enjoy each year. Here are some of the city's not-to-be-missed annual events.

King's Day (April)

Celebrated all over the Netherlands, King's Day is an important national holiday. Expats in Eindhoven can join in the celebrations by dressing up in orange and attending the annual festival celebrating King's Day. The festival prides itself on variety, offering something for the entire family, from music concerts and markets to fun runs and competitions.

Park Hilaria (August)

Eindhoven’s annual fair takes place over a week in August every year along Kennedylaan. It is a fun event for the whole family to enjoy that includes, amusement park rides, games, street theatre, live music and plenty of delicious food and drinks.

Dutch Design Week (October)

Dutch Design Week is an exceptional opportunity for up-and-coming designers to get their names out there. More than 2,600 designers display their work around Eindhoven, with hundreds of events and activities taking place, including workshops, networking events, debates and exhibitions.

Eindhoven Marathon (October)

The annual Eindhoven Marathon is a popular running event in the city. The marathon includes several shorter runs in addition to the main events of the half and full marathons.

GLOW Festival Eindhoven (November)

GLOW is an international forum of light in art and architecture, which sees the city centre become a stage for light performances and installations for visitors to admire.

Getting Around in Eindhoven

Getting around in Eindhoven is easy and convenient thanks to exceptional public transport infrastructure and a compact as well as pedestrianised city centre. Of course, Eindhoven is also well-equipped for cyclists, with plenty of excellent cycling architecture.

Driving in Eindhoven is not recommended, especially as parking is limited, and most expats get by without a vehicle.


Public transport in Eindhoven

Eindhoven’s public transport system is not as extensive as other Dutch cities, such as Amsterdam. While trains offer a good option for travel to and from the city, there are no trams or underground train systems for inner-city travel. Thus, buses are the best option for getting around Eindhoven.

OV-chipkaart

Public transport in Eindhoven and throughout the Netherlands can be accessed using the OV-chipkaart. This rechargeable smart card can be loaded with credit and swiped at the beginning and end of each journey. There are different OV-chipkaart cards available, and they range from daily to yearly subscriptions.

Buses

Eindhoven has a comprehensive bus system that covers the whole city, as well as some popular areas outside the city. Buses with routes in high-demand areas arrive every 10 minutes and every 30 minutes otherwise.


Taxis in Eindhoven

Taxis are available at ranks throughout the city. Taxi rates are not formally regulated, so it’s best to negotiate the fare with the driver before setting off on a journey.

It's also possible to order a taxi over the phone or via a ride-sharing app, but this may work out as a more expensive option.


Driving in Eindhoven

As Eindhoven is a compact city, a car is not a necessity. In fact, car ownership is often a hindrance, as finding parking can prove a challenge. Be that as it may, parking is relatively cheap in Eindhoven compared to other Dutch cities, and a vehicle can be a fantastic resource for expats who want to explore further afield.

Expats who wish to drive in Eindhoven should note that they can use their foreign driving licence for up to 185 days. Expats from non-EU countries staying longer must apply for a local licence, while those from EU countries can continue using their licence until it expires. Nationals from countries with agreements with the Netherlands can simply exchange their driving licences for a Dutch licence through their local municipality and the Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer (RDW).


Cycling in Eindhoven

As is the case in most Dutch cities, Eindhoven has an extensive network of cycle paths. Cycling is typically the easiest and cheapest way to get around. It’s possible to hire bicycles at bike shops dotted around the city.

While life in Eindhoven is relatively safe, bicycle theft is an unfortunate reality here. Expats should always ensure their bike is secured with a lock – preferably two – when parked in the street.


Walking in Eindhoven

One of the simplest ways of travelling in Eindhoven is walking. The city centre is walkable and easy to navigate on foot. New arrivals frequently find walking helpful in orientating themselves in their host city. Expats looking for accommodation should search the areas and suburbs in walking distance from their work or school.